Probing into the Broadcasting of Foreign Programs in PTV


Ching Swen


Public Television in Taiwan is a Peculiarity. From 1984 to now 1994) it survives under various political, Financial and social influences, for nearly ten years.

Starting with being a governmental task force, PTV now waits the Legislative Yuan to pass the bill in order to set up a UHF TV station. During this prolonged process, opinions from every direction flux in, above all, the criticisms on programs. That is because most audience can not tell the differences between the governmental TV system and the public TV system, they can not even figure out the com plexity of their operation. But actually what audience face directly is the programs.

Programs of PTV can be divided into domestic and foreign par ts. The propotion of foreign programs is about 25% in the current TV schedule broadcasted by Broadcasting Development Fund. And be cause PTV’s Program schedule is still not on the table, the propotion of each kind of program can not be decided yet. But according to the referrence figure announced by the PTV Organizing Committee, foreign programs will take up 20 percent approximately.

In most TV stations 99 percents of the foreign programs comes from acquisition. In PTV, there is a foreign programs division which sends buyers to different international program markets every year and select various kinds of programs. And then those programs will have gone through all the steps of post production–translation, dub bing, editing, subtitling, finally, broadcasting.

Usually TV stations only buy the broadcasting right under the condition of limits of the broadcasting periods and runs, so foreign programs are much cheaper than those produced by domestic production houses.

Outstanding programs often come out from foreign production companies, TV stations and independent production houses attributing to their aboundant capital and professionalism. To domestic producers, foreign programs can broaden their scope, learn versatile artistic presentation; to native audience, they can watch something they could never see in local media, and at the same time, receive a different culture message carried in them.

However, we must look deep into some issues like how to purchase and broadcast these foreign programs? In the past ten years, what kind of problems have happened? How audience have reacted? And most of all, how to make the foreign programs more exquisite, more relevant to domestic programs so that we can create a real Chinese PTV style? Through reflecting the past and recording the present, we believe this subject rarely mentioned and paid attention will be a worthy index for the future development of public television in Taiwan.